Bickering Brood

"The relationship between Andrea and her mother is very strained," says Simon in a videotaped segment. "Vicki likes to control Andrea with money. With Vicki paying our rent, she definitely used that against us as control. She would hold the money over our heads.

"Vicki has come up with how much we owe her for rent. She doesn't discount for the work that we put into the property," Simon shares. He says he installed ceiling fans, landscaped the yards and hung plasma TVs on the walls. "It was, drop what I was doing, and run over there and take care of Vicki's needs. 

"I feel that it's very poor taste for Vicki to do this at this point in time. I think she's doing this just to regain control," Simon reveals.


As the tape ends, Andrea says, "I've been here for my mother my whole life. She's done crap in my life that is just wrong, and she's put us in situations we should not have been in. She sits here and acts like she's this perfect, perfect person and she's not. Yeah, I lived in that house, but we had paid rent. We put money into that house. I never said I'm owed it. I'm not owed her giving me a place to live."

"Because of your grandmother and what she said, do you feel that she owes it to you to make these houses or money or support available to you?" Dr. Phil asks Andrea.

"No, I don't," she replies.

"You don't feel that she owes you anything monetarily?" Dr. Phil asks.

"No, I don't," Andrea says.

"So, where's the rub?" Dr. Phil asks.

"The reason why she kicked me out of the house is because the day that she told us that we needed to move out was a very bad day," Andrea says, explaining that she had a chemotherapy treatment, was very sick, was coming down with a cold and had just lost her insurance. After a long day, she and her mother had a fight, which she claims led to them being kicked out of the house.


Vicki says there were other reasons she asked Andrea and Simon to leave.

"What's your question for me?" Dr. Phil asks Andrea.

"Should I keep her in my life?" she asks.

"No," Dr. Phil says. "It's not working for you. You've either got to redefine the relationship, or you've got to protect yourself." He brings up that she's had two heart attacks and is fighting cancer, and stress is the worst thing she could be subjecting herself to. "You physically can't afford the stress of a constant turmoil and dialogue with your mother," he says. "You have children who depend and rely upon you. You need to take care of their mother, and if you two are going to be bickering back and forth all the time, that is a physiological reality you can't endure."

"I agree with you," Andrea says.

To Vicki Dr. Phil says, "If you're wanting to protect your money and your wherewithal to support yourself at this time in your life, then she's telling you she has no expectation from you to provide for her financially in any way, so that should decompress you in that regard. I think your timing is very unfortunate in this situation, but that's where we are."

Dr. Phil faces Andrea and Simon and says, "You guys think that she did this because everything was becoming about you, and you were being focused on because of your illness, and she didn't like that, so she had to do something that put her back center stage."

Andrea agrees. "When she kicked me out the first time, and I moved back in, she knew very well I couldn't financially afford to pay her rent," she says.

"You told me you were going to get two jobs to pay the rent," Vicki says to her daughter.

The women raise their voices and fight.

Dr. Phil asks Vicki, "Do you love your daughter?"

"I love her very much," she replies.

"Do you care what happens to her?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I care very much," she says.

"No, she doesn't," Andrea says. "You kicked me out after I just had chemo."

"I didn't kick you out," Vicki says. "I gave you a choice. I said you can come and move in with me, or you can pay rent."

"I said we would pay rent, and that wasn't good enough," Andrea says.

The fighting ensues.

Dr. Phil asks Andrea, "What do you want?"

"I want her out of my life, and I don't think that that's unfair of me to say that she shouldn't be around my children," she says.

"You are an adult, and you have complete control over who you have relationships with and who you don't. So, the good news is you want something that you have the ability to choose and create," Dr. Phil says to Andrea. "It's tragic. I'm sorry that it's not working. I'm sorry that money has become the focus, the battleground here. I don't think it's about money, but I think that's what the battleground has been chosen to be, and I hope you have a long and productive life."

Turning to Vicki, Dr. Phil says, "This kind of angst between the two of you is certainly not good for you, and it is acutely not good for her. So we need to dial down this vitriolic rhetoric, and if it means not being around each other, then you just need not be."

To Andrea and Vicki, Dr. Phil says, "One of you is going to die first, and the other one is going to feel really stupid."

Dr. Phil offers to provide resources.